Thursday, February 04, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

(Blog title courtesy of Journey)

So last night, my husband & I decided to celebrate The Immortals hitting their 52nd consecutive week on the New York Times Best Sellers list by dining at the same restaurant Ever dined at with Sabine on page 38 in Evermore.

The one Riley called, "ChiChi."

(For those of you who don't have your book handy, that restaurant is HERE.)

And after enjoying an awesomely "ChiChi" meal with probably just a bit too much wine & champagne, served by our awesome waiter with the world's coolest name (shout out to Metro!)--it suddenly hit me:

Six years ago --to the day!-- I was in Las Vegas with my husband (a business conference for him), it was our last night on the town and I gave myself a stern talking to I'll never forget.

You see, my then agent had been shopping my debut novel, FAKING 19, and all we seemed to be getting for our efforts was a nice big stack of rejections. Months had passed, and not one publisher was biting, and I was starting to doubt that they ever would.

It was making me sad, depressed, filled with self-doubt, and probably not all that fun to live with. So, that night, I made a vow to myself to release it. To stop focusing on it, obsessing over it, and worrying about an outcome I had absolutely no control over whatsoever.

I decided to just let it be and turn my focus to something else.

I wasn't necessarily giving up on the book, and I definitely wasn't giving up on my dream of being published, but I was giving up on all of that energy I'd spent freaking out over its unsold state.

Moments after I'd made that commitment, I felt better. Lighter. Less burdened. And I decided that as soon as I returned home the next day, I would pick up where I left off on that "other" book idea I'd kinda started (aka-ART GEEKS & PROM QUEENS).

So, cut to the very next day, February 4, 2004, I've pushed Faking 19 totally out of my mind, and am thinking up new plot ideas for my other book, while returning the rental car to the airport, when my agent calls to tell me that St. Martin's Press just offered me a deal for FAKING 19 and "whatever else I was working on."

Yep, less than 24 hours after releasing my obsession, it all just sort of happened on its own.

Last year on this date, when I first hit the NYT list, I couldn't help but notice the coincidence in the dates, and I'm sure I blogged about it then too.

This year, after being on the list for a year straight (something I never even dreamed of!), and with the milestone hitting on the same date, well, sorry for the redundancy, but I couldn't help but blog about it again.

I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that if you really, really want something you cannot give up on the dream itself--though you can (and should) give up on the negative emotions that tend to crop up when that dream is temporarily thwarted.

Don't give in to the self-doubt and that little voice in your head that just loves the words like "Can't" and "No" and "Sorry, not for you!"

Just keep learning, doing, improving, and moving forward--and don't forget to take time to enjoy the journey, because even though it's not always pleasant while you're down in the muck of it--looking back on all the rough bits you survived sure makes it feel sweeter once you've arrived!

Have a good day everyone!



Victoria said...

What an inspirational story. I am SO happy for you. I've always found being positive brings great results.

Kim Harrington said...

What a wonderful story! :)

Kay Cassidy said...

Love this post, A! Your HEA is such a wonderful thing and SO well deserved. It's also a great example of how staying the course, working crazy hard, and letting the universe guide the rest can lead to things we could never imagine for ourselves. Exactly the reminder I needed right now. :-)


Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story today, Alyson.

I really needed to hear it. I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again, your success is so well-deserved and you are a huge inspiration to me!

Tinkerbell said...

this part means a lot to me:

"Don't give in to the self-doubt and that little voice in your head that just loves the words like "Can't" and "No" and "Sorry, not for you!""

because i want to be a writer and i am always writing but i quit easily because i think i can't write something good because i listen to that "little voice" wich i shouldn't!

from now on i will write and stop being so critic about it!

p.s. "chichi" is pee in portuguese haha :)

thanks for your visit! i will continue to promote your books in all the ways i can!

Brandy said...

Wow! Inspiring! Hope the same will happen for me only in acting lol! Thanks for doing what you do, your awesome!

Jeanette said...

Thank you for this inspiring post, Alyson--it's exactly what I needed to read today! :) Huge CONGRATS to you on all your success--you deserve it!

Alyson Noel said...

Thank you everyone!

And Tinkerbell- Seriously? That's what "ChiChi" means! HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for sharing that!

Nayuleska said...

I'm glad you didn't give up. Thank you for a motivating post.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

thanks Alyson - I needed that today :) being on sub is hard.

Tinkerbell said...

:) yes that's what it means in portuguese :)

so now you are able to say "Hi (Olá)Pee (chichi)"(the words i taught you so far here in the blog lol)

So here in Portugal its now midnight so...

Boa Noite (good night ;)) e (and) Bom Fim de Semana (Good Weekend)

Alyson Noel said...

Shelli- Yep, being on sub is a stress-making time for sure! Fingers crossed for you!

Tinkerbell- I will be fluent before you know it, thanks to you!! All the important words are now covered!

beatriz albarez said...

Hi Alyson!
I liked your story so much (:
I agree with you. Negative emotions only make us feel bad, and nothing seems to go well.
So, I try to have the positives emotions, to make my day better, my life better, but sometimes I can not do it, and my perfect day goes away. But the life go on, and we have many beautiful and perfects days to live!

Unknown said...

What an amazing post, this made my day!
Thanks Alyson! :D

Hazel said...

WOW. Awesome story as usual. I sometimes have this feeling. That I'm never ever going to find a publisher for my book (which is almost done).

It all started when I was randomly looking at some publisher's websites and one said that if you are sending a book you have to be an adult. Books from underage writers cannot be published... I felt just horrible. I mean I've been working at my book for so long but it would all be a waste because I'm underage? Now, how fair is that. And there are actually a lot of publishers that do not publish or don't tend to publish underage writers' work.

But I'm not giving up. I'm actually working harder than ever because I want to show them that they really shouldn't judge by age!

And even if some friends doubt me, I am thinking positive and I will manage to publish one of my books!

Unknown said...

Very inspiring, Alyson!

Mary not so Contrary said...

That was a very inspiring post! Very happy for you! Now you have a new day to always celebrate. Congratulations on all your very deserving sucess!!!

Fiona said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me about trusting the universe :)

Robin Mellom said...

Thanks for this post. Your story is so inspirational! I just picked up Evermore this weekend and can't put it down. Can't wait to dig into the whole series!

Thanks for sharing your story--I needed this today!

Daisy Whitney said...

Totally inspiring post Alyson!